Thursday, 24 October 2013


It's a red letter day in Hobart today. It's Show Day. Officially, due to Southern Tasmanian custom, we can now plant your tomatoes outside, uncovered, without fear of them being destroyed by frost. It's an idiosyncratic Tasmanian version of the Fete de La Musique which of course is code in France for signalling the real start of balmy, summer weather. Except that today, here in Hobart, Mount Wellington is covered in snow and it is all of 10 degrees out there:

My tomatoes are still being loved up and nurtured along in the artificial warmth provided by the double glazing in our north facing sunroom....maybe I'll plant them out in the veggie patch next week. Am also holding off on the four packets of sunflower seeds as it would be just too devastating if these hopeful, signals of summer were decimated by an unseasonal wintery frost.

The inclement weather meant that this morning my husband was unable to ride his bike all the way to Orford, on the East Coast. He is a serious bike riding MAMIL. I'm pleased to announce that I too have recently acquired a bike and become a cyclist......yet I'm most decidedly not a female version of a Middle Aged Man in Lycra.....apart from blatantly apparent bike colour coordinates with most of my shoes.....and has a wicker basket:

I deliberated over the choice of bike for ages.....honestly, I was thinking about it back in the mists of time when I would have needed two baby seats. I had my heart set on a Pashley Princess, much to the mirth of the chap in the neighbourhood bike shop, an English import which looks the business yet weighs a tonne. I had to compromise because the tyranny of location meant that I needed as many gears as I could get and quite frankly pushing a 30kg bike up to the top of my hill would have seen me dissolve into a puddle.....especially as most of the time it looks like this:

I couldn't help myself and my first ride after taking possession was over the iconic Tasman Bridge which links the city of Hobart with the suburbs on the Eastern Shore:

In hindsight it was a ridiculous route to choose as my bike looked startlingly incongruous next to the five lanes of traffic:

The cycleway is so narrow that if you accidentally lost control of your steering you would pitch over the knee height rail and be rendered road splat.

So, where do you go when your bike is much more suited to riding around town? Well, for starters not only did it take me up hill and down dale all the way to my yoga studio for class, it also took me out to lunch twice last week.....although I may have to rethink my cycling attire as half way down Macquarie Street (steep incline, three busy lanes of traffic) my scarf blew into my face and I couldn't see where I was going. The high heels though, were fine.....much to my husband's distain, as he would never, ever be seen dead in anything other than bike shoes with cleats.

Anyway, another exciting date looming on the calendar for Hobartians is this coming Saturday evening 6pm - 8pm at the Stanley Burbury Theatre (at UTAS) when Tim Winton will be in town talking about his new book 'Eyrie'. If you are thinking of going, tickets are $10 or $7.50 concession and you can pick them up at Fullers Bookshop in town. I've just finished reading it in anticipation, although I must admit that my head is still spinning from the intense paranoic hyper reality which is the mind space of the main protagonist......and thinking about the ending. I'm very curious as to what Tim Winton will have to say....and to hear him talk about this book in person is just too good an opportunity to pass up. I've bought my ticket.



  1. Love Tim Winton - best Western Australian writer ever. Actually up there with the best Australian writer's ever.

    Love your bike too. It is still very cold in Hobart - starting to get hot here so all tomatoes are happily growing away.

    Take care Romy.

  2. Well done in the heels youre keen! I am curious what it is you have ended up with looks lovely and good to hear that it can handle some real rides not just look pretty. What a nice way to get around town.

  3. 'Twas fab to see you on Wed, Romy. Enjoy seeing Tim! J x

  4. Love your bike! I will be getting out more on mine now the weather has improved. I am a fair weather cyclist only. Which gives me a small window before the heat arrives and I stop again. I'm not a huge Tim Winston fan... On your recommendation though I've just read my first Jilly Cooper. Think I chose the wrong one (Jump!) as the characters were in their 60's and there was a lot of granny sex going on... Interestingly one of the characters was called Romy, described as a "mother superior", which amused me no end (you're not, by the way!!) xx

  5. Very cute bike! Stonefield on Xmas list along with Myles Baldwin Coastal Gardens . Always fun to read your posts.

  6. I love your bike and had the same in England before it got stolen; curiously though, I think I would have been scared to go over that bridge. Happy riding !xx


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